Breathless BodyAmy Dixon
Year Released: 2011
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
I'm a recent convert to HiiT training and was interested to try a longer HiiT workout. Breathless Body is 46 minutes of cardio, plus warmup and cooldown/stretch, divided into eight sections. Each section consists of a basic athletic move performed for 20 seconds, with a 10-second rest. This is repeated 8 times, and then you go on to a new move.
Amy shows modifications for each move: one exerciser does the easiest version (except for one 'fast feet' move, all the easiest versions are no-impact), Amy does the intermediate move, and another exerciser does the hardest version. I found myself moving between the easiest and intermediate versions for most of the drills because the hardest version is HARD. If you push yourself, you will be breathless.
The moves are very basic so there's no learning curve at all; you can dive right in and push yourself. Best of all, there's no equipment required for this workout and it takes up minimal space (if you can leap side to side and have space to do a plank, you can do this workout).
I have seen reviews on other sites that complain about how boring this workout is, but I found it matter-of-fact and straightforward.
Amy is enthusiastic without any "whooping", and encourages you throughout each section. She is a little talky but it didn't bother me.
I have done this video several ways since I got it--just the first half or the last half on different days or mixed and matched various segments in various lengths. Iíve also done the whole thing twice so far since I got it in June 2011. I can't see myself sticking to a tabata drill w/ just a few moves for any length of time without a video to keep me motivated. Amy is so encouraging that I did not want to let her down. I mean seriously, I did not wanna let down a video reproduction of a person? LOL!!! But yeah, it's true. That's why I decided to only do 30 minutes each time I did it initially, I guess. I figured I could do 30 minutes successfully. Despite my scoffing at the title of this video (images of CSI came to mind), when I saw the clips I folded like a deck of cards. This is a high intensity cardio w/ no equipment needed, minimal space required, and low impact options, how could I say no? This will also make a good travel workout. Amy shows three different levels--beginner/low impact, intermediate/some impact, and advanced/mostly high impact. I switched up between all three. I have even subbed my kbell for some of the cardio too. I like the 20/10 concept. Even for 30 minutes, this still works you really hard. It reminds me a bit of the intensity of IMAX2 blasts, just not as high impact throughout. The music was ok not great but I can live with it.
Again, Amy is motivating and encouraging. No yelling here at all just upbeat.
Since the previous reviewer gave a thorough breakdown of this workout, I'll just focus on my impressions of it. Like the previous reviewer, I did the drills in parts: the first time I did the warm up through the 5th drill and the second time I did the warm up and picked and chose 6 drills. Both times I felt like I got a really great workout. The 20/10 formula seems like it will be easy, but it's really challenging. It got harder with each drill. I had some serious muscle soreness the next day, mainly in my hips/glutes (the speed skater move really did it!)
I really liked having such simple moves to do, once I learned what each drill would consist of I could really focus on myself instead of looking at the screen and picking up new choreography.
This was my first Amy Dixon workout and I liked her personality. She is encouraging and motivating without being a cheerleader and mentions that the workout is hard for them too. I feel for the advanced modifier, in that second to last drill, she looked like she was starting to regret signing up for this gig.
Amy Dixon leads ďBreathless BodyĒ a 56 min. athletic cardio workout that consists of 8 drills of exercises (roughly 4 min. per drill) that are based off of the Tabata protocol, 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest per interval (this workout is much longer than a traditional Tabata workout because of the multiple drills). Each drill is repeated 8 times, w/ a longer rest after the completion of all rounds of the drill. The exercises for the drills are athletic cardio (bodyweight exercises) performed w/ the goal of completing as many reps as one can (w/ good form) & at a fast pace for the time given. There are two background exercisers, and 3 levels demoed for each drill, for beginner, intermediate & advanced (Amy demos the level 2 exercises).
There are exercises (marches, step touch, step & heel lift, step & tap rear, squats) performed by the background exercisers while Amy explains the form for the next drill, and as an active rest, after all rounds of the drill have been completed. The exercises are simple to learn because itís only one exercise per drill w/ 2 different progressions. I actually performed some drills in level 2 & 3, and got a great workout. So itís nice to have the different variations demoed because the workout is very adaptable to oneís preferences (energy levels, goals, fitness abilities). The menu allows the user to play all drills or select one drill at a time to complete (and the workout is chaptered).
I have used the workout by splitting up the workout in half (completing drills 1-4, or drills 5-8), and felt it was a great workout. I donít generally like to use cardio video workouts that are more than 45 min., so not sure if Iíll ever complete the workout in its entirety (when splitting it/completing less total drills works well for me). I have not used any of Amy Dixonís fitness videos before, but liked her personality & instructing style in this workout. She explains the form well, and provides encouraging & helpful (about hydration, breathing, muscle engagement) comments w/out talking too much, or it seeming forced, and w/out sexy/hot body talk. I prefer athletic cardio so this workout was appealing to me, and I really liked how no equipment & not a lot of room was needed to move about to complete the exercises. The warm-up & cool-down were great, just thorough enough but not too long. The background exercisers had great form & energy, and I liked how the level 1 exerciser was not performing a totally basic/non-challenging variation of each exercise (which does occur frequently in videos w/ a low impact/intensity modifier, they tend to look bored and/or like they are not getting in a solid workout).
Set: wood floor w/ white/beige walls w/ wood outlines & grey color, and some fitness equipment in the rear of set.
Music: fast-paced pop-type, not really noticing it during the workout.
Introduction (1:26): Amy explains the Tabata (protocol), levels of exercises, & goals of workout.
Warm-up (4:35 min.)
Out, Out, In, In> faster pace for levels 2 & 3> Jump rope> both sides
Alternating Step, heel lift (opposite leg) w/ single overhead arm
Alternating (static) side lunges
Torso twists: in lowered position of squat, alternate one arm reach to inside of leg/other reaches overhead
Shoulder rolls (forward)> rear
Leg swing front, knee pull (into chest)> quad stretch> Side step w/ turned out knee lift/rotates out> repeat on other side> huggers (arms alternate hug chest & opening out to side)
Squats>Squat, touch hands to floor, elevate heels, lower them, then stand w/ overhead arms.
Alternate curtsey lunges w/ hands on floor
Marches> step touch (side step)
Drill 1: Power Jacks
level 1- jumping jacks
level 2- power jack (plie squat in lowered position of jack)
level 3- air jack
Drill 2: Speed Skaters
level 1- Curtsey Lunge w/ figure 8 arms (alternating sides, arms sweep around in circle & out to side w/ each lunge)
level 2- skater w/ single arm reach/touch to floor (same side arm as leg touches floor)
level 3- skater w/ single arm reach/touch to floor & leg balance (in air)
Drill 3: Athletic Beach Volleyball
level 1- Low squat then elevate heels w/ overhead arms
level 2- Squat thrust then elevate heels w/ overheads arms
level 3- Burpee (squat thrust, lower body down to floor in plank, stand up & jump in air)
Drill 4: Hot Feet
level 1- Fast feet (football runs)
level 2- High Knees
level 3- High Knees w/ hip & knees turned out (bit slower pace than level 2)
Drill 5: Core Kicks (in plank position)
level 1- Mountain Climbers (alternate feet tapping floor)
level 2- Butt Kicks (both heels kick butt & reverse motion)
level 3- Donkey Kicks (both heels aim/kick butt & then extend out in air, then to plank position)
Drill 6: Oleí Lunges
level 1- Alternate reverse lunge w/ arms pulling down (start overhead)
level 2- 2 quick jumps & hold in lowered position of lunge w/ overhead arms (hands clasped)
level 3- Alternating switch (lunge) jumps
Drill 7: Boxer Jumps
level 1- 4 punches (alternating high & low) to one side w/ fast-paced squats
level 2- 2 punches (alternating high & low) to one side w/ fast-paced squats
level 3- 1 low punch w/ (180 degree) switch jump (land in plie/sumo position)
Drill 8: Pogo Jumps (alternate legs for each set)
level 1- Rear leg extension/hands tap floor, to knee lift, then front leg extension w/overhead arms
level 2- Rear Lunge, same side hand taps floor, then power knee (lift) w/ bent arms (close to chest)
level 3- Rear Lunge, same side hand taps floor, then power knee (lift) w/ more power (higher jump) & arm reaches up
Cool-down (4 min.)
Shoulder rolls (rear)
Chest stretch/open & pull (bent) arms to back (form W), reverse motion/Back stretch (hands clasp w/ straight arms in front of body)
Runnerís lunge (low) w/ overhead arms> Chair pose w/ twist (rotation), both sides> runnerís lunge on other side.
IT band & hamstring stretch: cross one foot/leg over other & hinge forward w/ flat back & hands at hips, both sides.
Torso twists: hands clasped w/ bent arms held in front of body, alternate twisting/rotation upper body to each side (pivot off of feet).
Cat/Cow: in standing position, squat & place hands on thighs, stay in lowered position of squat & alternate rounding spine & reversing motion.
Inhale w/ overhead arm, exhale hands come together for prayer pose.